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How Expert Witnesses Help Car Accident Cases in Chicago

Posted on November 24, 2020 in

Illinois is a fault insurance state, which means that drivers who cause accidents must pay for the damages of their victims. If you are in a collision with a negligent driver, you can seek compensation for your injuries through an insurance claim or lawsuit — but this process can be lengthy and difficult to litigate without the proper resources.

Hiring a Chicago car accident lawyer to represent your claim can expedite this process and provide you with the resources you need to prove your right to compensation. One type of resource attorneys often use are expert witnesses, or third-party specialists who provide insight into the details of your case on your behalf.

What Is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is a controlled witness that an injured person can retain in a lawsuit. Both the defense and the plaintiff have the right to obtain these experts. When your lawyer chooses an expert witness, he or she will review your case and offer an opinion based on his or her area of specialization. These experts can provide valuable testimony on your behalf and help validate your injuries and legal claims, potentially securing your right to compensation.

Under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213(f)(3), each party must provide the following information for each expert witness they choose to retain.

  • The subject matter the expert will testify on
  • The conclusions and opinions of the expert and their bases
  • The qualifications the expert holds
  • Any reports the expert prepares about the case

Types of Expert Witnesses Your Attorney May Retain

Your Chicago injury lawyer will determine which experts to retain based on the facts of your case and his or her strategy for establishing liability. Your case may also need additional support in certain areas, and your attorney may hire expert witnesses based on those needs. Common types of expert witnesses in car accident claims include the following.

  • Medical professionals: Proving the nature and severity of your injuries is an important step in a car accident claim. Your attorney may retain a medical professional who can evaluate your records and inform the court of the damages you experienced. This can help you prove direct causation, establishing the at-fault driver’s liability.
  • Life care planners: You may suffer severe injuries in the accident that require ongoing medical care. Your attorney may retain a life care planner who can evaluate your injuries and create a long-term treatment plan for the medical care you will need throughout your life. This may include nursing care, prescriptions, future surgeries, or expensive modifications to your home or vehicle.
  • Accident reconstruction specialists: In some car accident cases, liability is unclear because the accident is complex. Your attorney may retain an accident reconstructionist who can use scientific data to determine each vehicle’s actions leading up to the accident and what may have been the cause.
  • Economists: You may suffer significant financial damages after an accident, from lost wages to loss of future earnings or benefits. Your attorney may retain an economist to help create an accurate calculation of your damages.

What to Do After an Accident in Illinois

If you are in a car accident in Chicago, your first priority is your health and safety. Call 911 immediately after the crash and seek medical attention for your injuries. Once you receive treatment, you should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Your attorney can guide you through the complex process to secure the compensation you need to recover. Your lawyer can also connect you with expert witnesses who provide additional value to your claim. If you have not done so already, contact an attorney as soon as possible to seek justice for your losses.